Vegetable farmers can now harvest up to 50 kilos of spinach per year, thanks to a new hybrid variety by Amiran Kenya which yield in less than 30 days.
Dubbed Baby Spinach PALCO F1, this variety has longer harvesting period and thicker leaves than any other variety in the market.
This type of spinach perhaps rivals the Swiss Chard ford hook spinach, another high yielding variety from the firm. A single tree has the capacity to produce up to 300 pods weighing 48kgs per year.
This is hybrid requires no specific condition to grow as it has the ability to stand harsh growing conditions. It grow well in both sandy, clay and loamy soils.
It however requires less acidic soils just like other spinach varieties. Soil PH value of 6-6.8 is therefore good for it.
An acre of land requires 32,000-40,000 seedlings with spacing of 45 x 45 or 60 x 45 or 60 x 60cm. Closer spacing results into smaller heat but high yield per unit area while wider spacing gives bigger heat but low production per unit area.
Although for hotter areas larger spacing is desirable to reduce moisture stress.
Use 200kg to 400kg of NPK fertilizer per acre in the ratio of 2:3:4 while planting depending soil fertility of the farm. This is followed by 70 to 90kg LAN per acre at four weeks and eight weeks.
This variety according to Johnston, an Agronomist at Amiran Kenya Limited is resistant to deadly diseases like Downy Mildew and Late bolting hence very economical for farmers.
He however advice farmers to maintain farm cleanliness to keep other diseases and pest at bay.
Manual harvesting is recommended
One way to do this is start harvesting the outer, older leaves first and then gradually working your way in to the center of the plant as those leaves mature.
Harvesting spinach by this method will often allow it to re-sprout and give you another partial harvest